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Coffee & Tea

Crockett: Brunch at Dead Fish - milk-poached eggs, cotechino sausage and $3 Irish coffee

rworange | Jun 2, 200811:58 AM

At one time I was in love with brunch at Dead Fish because it was one of the outstanding bargains in the Bay Area with a spectacular view.

Then locals complained and they changed the format and upped the prices … so I stopped going.

Reading the menu recently I noticed the milk-poached eggs and sausage and decided to give it another try.

Very pleasant, relaxing experience … but except for the Acme bread warm from the oven … it screams upscale chain.

Lovely presentation and some thought about the food but not a lot of follow-up execution.

Breakfast comes in a huge oval copper skillet. The roasted potatoes and veggies included Peruvian purple potatoes.


If I hadn’t read the eggs were milk-poached I never would have been able to tell the difference … and I tried to savor every bite search for something different … on top of it the eggs were average quality and were slightly overdone ... one egg the yolk was not runny.

Given the local objection to the original breakfast, I don’t see the cotechino sausage lasting long … people expecting Italian sausage will be surprised by the small three round slices of almost bologna-like sausage.

It would have been better if all of the veggies had been roasted and not just the potatoes … it was a good selection but cooked WAY too al dente … almost raw … carrots,, cherry tomatoes, cauliflower, zucchini, broccoli, some purple Peruvian potatoes and another tiny white heirloom variety.

Still, I enjoyed these veggies dressed with nice olive oil and sprinkled with parsley rather than the usual grease-laden breakfast potatoes. It just would have been better if they were more roasted.

The Irish Coffee wasn’t great but wasn’t bad ... worth the three bucks. A little weak and the whipped cream wasn’t all that, but still pleasant.

Nice bread … as always. Dead Fish replaced the former Acme pan de mie with that Acme bread that looks like branches. The nice touch was warming it in the oven … not microwave … so that when it cooled, the crust was still crunchy and the bread soft and yeasty ...nice butter too.

They need to replace those knives that are so big, unwieldy and heavy that one would expect to find them at crime scenes.

The outdoor patio has evolved since my visit a few years ago. It is really a pleasant place to watch the boats and ships glide by on the Carquinez Straight. Unseen trains roll by at the bottom of the hill, blowing plaintive horns. Hawks glide on the breeze. A few opportunistic blue jays tried to steal a few crumbs from recently vacated tables. The magnolia trees were in bloom and perfumed the air. A fountain gurgled.

I forgot how much I liked the bar area with the comfy seats, fireplace, personable bartenders, great view and decent drinks.

Would I go back for brunch at Dead Fish … yeah … but more for the ambiance and above average food for a restaurant with a view. It isn’t what it once was, but still decent enough.

Other than that, I would guess my reports from a few years back about Dead Fish are still relevant today. Little changed.

Dead Fish
20050 San Pablo Avenue, Crockett, CA 94525

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